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A busy City Council race to represent northeast Queens continued to gain momentum as the Republican incumbent kicked off a re-election bid based on his experience in the district.
Last week, Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) launched his campaign at Verdi’s catering hall in Whitestone in the company of noteworthy supporters, including former 38-year Republican state Sen. Frank Padavan.
Halloran used the event as an opportunity to remind the district, which includes Little Neck, Bayside, Whitestone, Auburndale and College Point, that if it is not broken, it does not need to be fixed.
“Other candidates may talk about what they might do. I can tell you what we have done,” Halloran said in a release about the event. “We’ve saved the after-school programs, kept the fire houses open and enabled places like Douglaston’s Alley Pond Environmental Center, College Point’s Poppenhusen Institute and the Bayside Historical Society to go on serving Queens.”
The councilman also praised his district office, citing its No. 1 ranking in constituent services in the Council for the last three years with more than 8,000 constituent cases under its belt.
At the campaign kick-off, big names in the ranks of Queens Republicans threw their support behind Halloran, who was elected to the Council in 2009 to succeed current state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside). Other noteworthy GOPers included Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), former Sen. Serf Maltese and Republican mayoral candidates John Catsimatidis, George McDonald and Joe Lhota.
When addressing the crowd, Padavan remarked on the importance of the 19th Council District race as an ongoing fight to preserve the residential character of the various communities, according to the release.
“This campaign is about three things: neighborhoods, neighborhoods and neighborhoods,” Padavan said. “This is a very special district, where I was raised and have lived my entire life, it’s built around a core of one- and two-family homes that we’ve worked hard to own. We need to fight to keep us from becoming just another part of the ‘big city.’”
The race to unseat Halloran, who ran for Congress last year against now-U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), has grown more crowded since the beginning of the year. Four Democrats eyeing the seat include Democratic state committeeman Matthew Silverstein, former state Assemblyman John Duane, attorney Paul Vallone and Austin Shafran, of the state’s economic development agency Empire State Development.
Shafran, who also worked under former Rep. Gary Ackerman and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), marked the beginning of his campaign alongside Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) in Bay Terrace — the same area where Silverstein draws much of his support.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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